The San Jose Sharks have already secured their biggest need of the summer—a first pairing defensemen. Mark the date: June 26—the day the Sharks acquired defenseman, Brent Burns.
This pickup wasn’t without significant cost; in return the Sharks gave the Wild a budding, but inconsistent, Devin Setoguchi, last year’s first-round draft choice Charlie Coyle, and their 2011 first-round pick. At first glance, this trade appears to be one-sided with the Sharks depleting their youth pipeline and the immediate effect of losing 20-30 goals in Setoguchi. However, it’s not difficult to imagine that the goals will be made up by whoever adopts Setoguchi’s spot alongside one of the most-skilled set-up men in the league, Joe Thornton. Even with this move, the top-six forwards for the Sharks are still as good as any in the league and the Sharks are in a position to win now.
Along with the departure of Devin Setoguchi, it was announced that Scott Nichol and Jamal Mayers would not return. This leaves voids in the 3rd and 4th lines and vital penalty kill minutes that need to be crunched. The Sharks have learned over the years that it takes defensive depth and rolling all four lines to be successful in the playoffs. To be able to do just this GM Doug Wilson will need to address these vacancies.
The Sharks will look for a solid 2nd or 3rd line player that will be able to eat up a lot of penalty kill minutes. Players with such pedigree are Joel Ward and Eric Belanger. Additionally, the Sharks should look to add more depth in the defensive corps should Ian White not be re-signed—this may come in the form of defensive minded players such as Paul Mara, Scott Hannan, or Jan Hejda with cap hits under $3m.
SAN JOSE SHARKS 2011-2012 ROSTER (using CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR)
Dany Heatley ($7.500m) / Joe Thornton ($7.000m) / Patrick Marleau ($6.900m)
2nd or 3rd line LW ($0.000m) /Logan Couture ($1.241m/ Ryane Clowe ($3.625m) /
Jamie McGinn ($0.675m)/ Joe Pavelski ($4.000m) / Torrey Mitchell ($1.366m)
3rd or 4th Line LW ($0.000m) / Andrew Desjardins ($0.540m) / 3rd or 4th Line RW ($0.000m)
Dan Boyle ($6.666m) / Brent Burns ($3.550m)
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($3.100m) / Douglas Murray ($2.500m)
Jason Demers ($1.250m) / Justin Braun ($0.875m)
Mike Moore ($0.512m) / Top six D ($0.000m)
Antti Niemi ($3.800m) / Antero Niittymaki ($2.000m)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000
CAP PAYROLL: $57,107,501
CAP SPACE: $7,192,499
Should the Sharks spend to the ceiling with a little more than $7 million in cap space these needs should be easily filled.
About the Author
Written by Christopher Tran
New York transplant from California, and an avid blogger and sports fan. As he tends to do every year, he picks an Eastern Conference NHL team to root for until they become too good and he fears for his team out west. If you want to talk hockey with me, feel free to send a line.